Archive for January, 2010

Know your east Asian lunisolar calendar

Some form of the traditional Chinese calendar has been in use for three and a half millennia.  It was borrowed by Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.  Similarly, tea cultivation spread from China to these countries.  As a result, tea growing culture in all of these countries incorporates “seasonal markers” that correspond with each other.

Continue reading ‘Know your east Asian lunisolar calendar’

You’re so soluble

How does the brewing process affect taste?

And why did I major in music instead of something useful like chemistry?

Oxygen solubility in water, or my employment outlook....

I’ve been exchanging emails with Louis Kaplan, a friend who’s a Senior Research Scientist at Stroud Water Research Center.  Like I said in an earlier post, I’ve lately understood the brewing process as an interplay between different water temperature ranges.  If you increase the proportion of time at one temperature range, you maximize the solubility of one particular component chemical, and thereby one aspect of flavor.

Continue reading ‘You’re so soluble’

Are you my tea bar?

Lovely bones

Boy, those holidays, huh?  That’s why I haven’t posted in a while.  That, and I’ve found a retail space I really like for a tea bar.  Hint: it’s in Philadelphia, because that’s where I live, but I don’t want any starbucks-internet-spiderbots snagging it first, so I’m not saying exactly where.

I know, I know, Starbucks and Saxby’s and three others will move in to the gentrificomplex which is soon to sprout around the corner.  Still, I’m superstitious.  Instead of telling you about all the figuring and phoning and fretting I’m doing over this space, I’ll tell you the story of a tea bar I didn’t open.

Continue reading ‘Are you my tea bar?’